How to keep in touch w/ kids on ship

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#1
Iowa
17 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
We have 2 kids who will be ages 12 and 13 at the time of our cruise on the Navigator in March. I've been told that cell phones don't work on cruise ships, and if that is true, how do I keep in touch with my kids if they choose to take part in some activity separate from what I am doing? Do walkie talkies work? Any suggestions for me will be greatly appreciated.
#2
1,391 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by jramsey39
We have 2 kids who will be ages 12 and 13 at the time of our cruise on the Navigator in March. I've been told that cell phones don't work on cruise ships, and if that is true, how do I keep in touch with my kids if they choose to take part in some activity separate from what I am doing? Do walkie talkies work? Any suggestions for me will be greatly appreciated.
We have used walkie-talkies before with varied success. The models we have are 5 mile Motorolas but definitely found in extreme distances and varied floors on the ship there was some interference. (The range models are suggested for are for open air.) We have acutally stopped packing them.

We always find it easiest to just have check in times and meeting places. Good luck!
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#3
Fredericksburg, va. USA
80,396 Posts
Joined May 2001
Just tell them where you'll be..they will find you. It's really not as hard as you might imagine to locate each other. There are only so many areas that you might be, and you'll tend to gravitate to only a few as your favorite spots. and, a note in the cabin works wonders!
#4
PEI
83 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by jramsey39
We have 2 kids who will be ages 12 and 13 at the time of our cruise on the Navigator in March. I've been told that cell phones don't work on cruise ships, and if that is true, how do I keep in touch with my kids if they choose to take part in some activity separate from what I am doing? Do walkie talkies work? Any suggestions for me will be greatly appreciated.

We are planning on using our cells for texting. We are with Rogers and they told us we would be able to txt on board, so we will buy an international texting plan and turn data off on our phones so we aren't docked with extra charges. We 'could' us the cells for calls but it would cost us a whopping $7 per minute!


I would contact your cell provider and ask them.
#5
USA
8,952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Walkie talkies are an options that generate as much hate posts as "can I wear jeans on formal night"

My experience with walkie talkies on one cruise many years ago is its mixed with all the steel in the hulls. Even in vibrate mode I didn't find it too effective and in volume mode I can see why others get annoyed.

If one doesn't have a walkie talkies and it costs 30+ bucks for a couple good ones I'm thinking of cellphone with text only. Just be careful that fees can add up fast.

IMHO above 10, I've let my kids wander with each other to the pool, aracde, kidsclub etc. I always just work to make sure we have a pre-arranged meeting place; cabin, pick up the club etc. Unless one is on a megaship I've never found it hard to find anyone in a quick 10' walk of the ship.
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#6
4,173 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
I looked into some text rates for international travel, and I think what we're going to do is pick up a cheap prepaid phone for our daughter that she can carry with her in case she needs to reach us. We don't allow her to sign herself out of the Kid's Crew, so if we haven't been by to check on her and she wants out, she can send us a text. The understanding will be that she only uses it when she needs to get in touch with us outside of our 'regular' meeting times, and obviously it's not for texting her friends. We'll be adding a minimal amount of time to the phone, so she knows that if she uses it up frivolously, she could find herself stuck somewhere waiting for us.
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#7
NJ
5,735 Posts
Joined May 2006
Setting up somewhat of a schedule, then using post its in the cabin when things changes works the best for us.

We usually compare what we are doing before starting our day out. Set up some meeting times throughout the day to check in, then meet up again for dinner. At that point we set up our evening schedule. When things change we leave a post it in the cabin so others will know where we are. I have heard of people putting whiteboards on their cabin doors, but prefer to have notes inside, no need for others to know where my kids are!

Check up on your kids a few times to make sure they are where they said they would be and you will be fine. You will find that both you and them end up in the same places over and over again.

Cell phones, walkie talkies, etc are just one more thing for the kids to remember to pick up when they move from one activity to another. Besides if they are anywhere near water, I personally don't want those things there. Too easy to loose or damage!
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#8
Michigan
6,612 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by akcruz
Setting up somewhat of a schedule, then using post its in the cabin when things changes works the best for us.

We usually compare what we are doing before starting our day out. Set up some meeting times throughout the day to check in, then meet up again for dinner. At that point we set up our evening schedule. When things change we leave a post it in the cabin so others will know where we are. I have heard of people putting whiteboards on their cabin doors, but prefer to have notes inside, no need for others to know where my kids are!

Check up on your kids a few times to make sure they are where they said they would be and you will be fine. You will find that both you and them end up in the same places over and over again.

Cell phones, walkie talkies, etc are just one more thing for the kids to remember to pick up when they move from one activity to another. Besides if they are anywhere near water, I personally don't want those things there. Too easy to loose or damage!
Same here. Our kids normally end up with us most of the time anyway and when we seperate we all know where the other is going so we can find them when we are done...if they can't find us they are to leave a sticky note in the room telling us where they are and vice versa. Never really had to use a sticky note because we have always been able to find each other where we said we would be.
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#9
Cincinnati
68 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by jramsey39
We have 2 kids who will be ages 12 and 13 at the time of our cruise on the Navigator in March. I've been told that cell phones don't work on cruise ships, and if that is true, how do I keep in touch with my kids if they choose to take part in some activity separate from what I am doing? Do walkie talkies work? Any suggestions for me will be greatly appreciated.
I see you traveled in August and wonder which suggested option you chose and how it worked out. We are on the Navigator in March with a newly 13 year old that will want freedom but has already expressed wonder that his cell phone won't work. Sounds like texting may.
#10
4,198 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
We had a 12 and 14 year old on our last cruise, and we would leave messages on a post it on our cabin doors. Dd14 found a group of friends, and we rarely saw her anyway, except in passing, and a few dinners at the beginning of the cruise (I was nice, and made up a nice plate for her at breakfast each morning). Ds12 had a friend onboard, and they were either at the sports deck, pool, buffet, or pool table, and he would come back and forth to the cabin (and leave notes). The boys disliked the kids club - they were too old for the activities.
#11
'burb of Reading, PA
573 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
We discuss the day's plan at breakfast.

Meet at cabin to get showered for dinner.

If he decides to do something "off plan", he leaves a message on the mirror in the cabin (including the TIME he's leaving the mssg). We don't bother w/ Post It notes...a dry erase marker on a mirror works perfectly. Heck, I've even had my husband leave me a note or two....lol...oops

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#12
New Joizey
872 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
On board the ship, you are confined to using the ship's satellite dish to transmit voice or text data from the ship where you are, to your cell phone service company, back to the ship where your kids are.

All that costs a crazy amount of money. Talking on the cell or texting on the cell in the middle of the ocean is crazy expensive.


Walkie Talkies CAN work, theoretically, but sometimes the noise level of the ship will make you miss whoever is trying to contact you. We stopped taking the walkie-talkies as well.

Basically, it comes down to the way life was before cell phones and pagers.

The kids have a thing to do, it's on the schedule, check in with mom and dad before going off and doing the next thing. The Teen social ends at 4? We'll be at the pool. Our spa treatment is at 2, we should be back at the room by 3:30... leave us a note where you are going to be, and make sure you get back by 5 so we can get ready for dinner.


It's scary, yes, but we all did it when we were kids... and we all turned out as normal, well-adjusted adults, for the most part.
#13
'burb of Reading, PA
573 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally posted by Mack2
Basically, it comes down to the way life was before cell phones and pagers.

It's scary, yes, but we all did it when we were kids... and we all turned out as normal, well-adjusted adults, for the most part.

AMEN!

Have faith in your kid(s)...heck, have faith in yourself for the way you raised/are raising them!

I was just telling my husband last nite how people have forgotten a cell phone was originally a PHONE...to make calls with! Now with the smart phones and all the freakin apps, that's the 1 thing they really DON'T do with them anymore...make calls.

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#16
245 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Our kids are 15 and 12 and their phones are in the safe for the entire cruise. We never bothered with walkie talkies either. We look at it like an amusement park: plan in the morning, set up meeting times, family activities, etc. and trust that our kids will be the responsible young adults we've raised them to be.
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#17
36 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
When I was 12 I went on a cruise, and truthfully walkie talkies don't work well and are really annoying. Just tell your children and time & place to meet throughout the day.
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#18
Cleveland, OH
451 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by KellyBrakemeier
We would have white board in the cabin where our 13 year old and I would have to leave us a note couple times a day where we were at.
I am glad i stumbled upon this board. I really did not want to pack walkie talkies either. Our kids are girl 13 and boy 9. We decided to have a dry erase board as well, but my question is how well does it stick to the doors? I told the kids to check in ever odd hour, is that too much? I am thinking so!
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#19
'burb of Reading, PA
573 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally posted by tricy99
I am glad i stumbled upon this board. I really did not want to pack walkie talkies either. Our kids are girl 13 and boy 9. We decided to have a dry erase board as well, but my question is how well does it stick to the doors? I told the kids to check in ever odd hour, is that too much? I am thinking so!
imo, every odd hour seems a bit much...but if it makes you feel better, go with it. i have an idea what my son is doing for the afternoon or evening...if something changes, leave a message. but, he's been known to find us (or run into us) out and about.

we don't use the 'white board'...the dry erase markers work fine on mirrors ...use tissue to wipe clean.

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#20
NJ
5,735 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by tricy99
I am glad i stumbled upon this board. I really did not want to pack walkie talkies either. Our kids are girl 13 and boy 9. We decided to have a dry erase board as well, but my question is how well does it stick to the doors? I told the kids to check in ever odd hour, is that too much? I am thinking so!
On most ships the doors are metal, but personally I would put whatever it is you are using to leave notes INSIDE the cabin. I have walked down the halls and seen boards on the outside of cabin doors with the entire families schedule on it. Personally I wouldn't want anyone outside of my family knowing where my kids or I am. By puttint it outside you are announcing your plans to the whole ship!
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